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Discover the Secrets of Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) Networks

Discover the Secrets of Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) Networks

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Episode 34

I’m sold. In fact I’ve been sold since early 2014 when I first started digging into the emerging Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) market. I’m sold not because it’s cool tech – I’m sold because its affordable. The price makes business sense for a wide range of IoT use cases – some we’re familiar with and others we haven’t even considered yet due to current cost structures. In this episode of the IoT Business Show I speak with Hardy Schmidbauer of the LoRa Alliance and Thomas Nicholls of Sigfox about what LPWA is and the different ways it’s sold.

In this episode of the IoT Business Show, I speak with Hardy Schmidbauer of the LoRa Alliance and Thomas Nicholls of Sigfox about what LPWA is and the different ways it’s sold.

Hardy is Director of Wireless Products at Semtech and Vice-Chairman of the LoRa Alliance Marketing Committee and Thomas is Executive Vice President of Communications at SIGFOX.

The sweet spot for LPWA networks is at the intersection of Low Powered (LP) or battery powered, end nodes needing to communicate over long distances (WA or Wide Area Networks). Currently the options are using a mesh network of 802.15.4 radios or mobile networks (2G, 3G, 4G). Mesh networking can get hairy beyond the city block and mobile networks are prohibitively expensive for most use-cases. LPWAs have a star topology but since data transmission is in the range of 100-1,000 bits per second, network simplicity isn’t a bottleneck. The costs of LPWA are lower across the board. Lower monthly network subscription fees, lower silicon costs and lower battery costs. If you’re thinking about getting into it, either by subscribing to a network (vast majority) or building your own private network, the price is right so check out LPWA to see if it’s right for you.

Here’s What We’ll Cover in this Episode

  • The three major obstacles that LPWA networks overcome.
  • The different business models of LoRA and Sigfox and who they sell to.
  • Typical range, frequency band and data rates of LPWA transceivers.
  • Why the costs for LPWA networks are so low.
  • The problem with batteries in LPWA networks (hint, it’s not battery life).
  • The best and worst IoT use-cases for LPWA networks.

Mentioned in this Episode and Other Useful Links

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Are LPWA networks the next big thing in IoT connectivity?

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